A Buddhist monk witnessed returning from the Bergkamp testimonial.
There is a concept originating out of ancient India known as Karma:
‘Through the law of karma, the effects of all deeds actively create past, present, and future experiences, thus making one responsible for one’s own life.’
A great example of Karma in action would be, say, if a Dynamo player went down injured in open play… looked up… saw that his team were attacking… then got up immediately and joined the attack.
The karma would kick in when later in the game, after Kiev fail to roll the ball out of play with an Arsenal player down injured (for real this time), a drop ball is awarded, the Kiev players expect the ball to be rolled back to the keeper… but instead, Cesc fires a 50 yard ball into the path of a player who is wearing pink boots… then that player scores to win the game.
Oh, and then the cheating Dynamo player gets sent off for foul and abusive language after complaining about the righteous path Karma has led him down.
That my friends is what happened last night… don’t feel ashamed, just respect Karma and the effects it can have on your life.
I’m not going to give player ratings today.The game was pretty dull if truth be told and I don’t think anyone excelled/decelled (<- why not?) enough to merit an 11 man write up.
Arsenal’s line up was what we had all been calling for, bar Alex Song.
JD Silvestre Gallas Clichy
Denilson Cesc Song Rambo
I still for the life of me can’t understand why Wenger persists with Song in that position. I guess Denilson does a better job out wide than Diaby…
It was a strong team considering the injuries we have been suffering at the moment, and the game kicked off in promising fashion. The players looked comfortable on the ball, without ever over exerting themselves. We played in a contained manner… never really looking under threat. There was a lot of pretty passing, but very little penetration. I’m struggling to remember too many chances we had in the first half and I am struggling to think of many stand out players.
RvP went close with a couple of good freekicks. The first was fizzed into the box, only for the keeper to punch it away. The second from a similar position, about 35 yards out to the left, was superbly kneed over the bar by Silvestre. It’s a shame nobody told him he didn’t need to defend down the other end as well!
Song didn’t have his best game… but hey, when does he ever? People keep on saying he is lazy because he jogs around the pitch. Sorry guys, I have bad news for you… Song isn’t being lazy… he is just incredibly slow. That jog… is Song sprinting. Song is the only player in the Arsenal team who couldn’t out pace a sit down lawn mower…
What was interesting watching the game from home was the rows of empty seats… actually, that wasn’t what was interesting… what was interesting was the noise coming from the fans despite this. We could really hear the singing from home… and we even noticed a few songs for Willy G! Well played guys… he looked a happy player out there tonight. Geoff informs me that club level has returned to normal… stand up and face ejection. Well… that little experiment didn’t last long did it? Geoff asked me to make a special mention to stewards, Angela and Dwaine Djourrou. Apparently they stepped in to calm things down when an overly officious member of their work force tried to step in.
Back to football… Gallas had a mixed bag. His first clanger was Clichyesque (Birmingham)… but luckily the Kiev chap smashed his shot at the post. Then later on, he managed to flick a Song header into the net with his back to goal… only to be flagged offside. Then in the second half, after a goal mouth scramble… RvP drilled a shot in low and hard at goal… with Gallas there ready to defend the shot.
Someone really needs to tell our defenders they only need to defend up one end! Overall though, I thought Gallas had a great game. He made a superbly timed interception just before our first… so well played that man! Whatever you think of him, he is our best defender. So do your best to grit your teeth and support him… because if we want a trophy this year… he’ll be at the heart of it.
I’d also like to highlight the crucial save Almunia made in the second half. Kiev floated a superb ball into the path of their striker who found himself one on one, but Almunia came rushing out to block his shot. A superb save and a clean sheet to boot. At 0-0, that really was a crucial stop… so a big thumbs up to Al!
A quick mention for the new boys to the team tonight:
Rambo: Not his best performance for Arsenal… but for a 17 year old, he played pretty damn well. His passing was ok and he is certainly more adept at handling the wing than Diaby. It’s a real shame he isn’t a few years older… because we wouldn’t need to go out purchase a new centre mid if he was 20.
Vela: He struggled to make the same impact he usually does. I think at times he held onto the ball for too long… but he is only 19 and he is just finding his feet. One thing that is apparent… he has the same sort of pace and trickery Theirry did… you have no idea what he is going to do next!
Wilshere: You can’t help but get excited over this lad. He is special… there is no doubt about it. His body movement, his pace, his vision and his superb passing make him one of the best young talents to come out of this academy program. He came on… looked a little small for mens football… but he still danced around the Kiev players. The only thing I worry about is a jealous player taking him out to prove a point. You do feel that if Jack was a vase, he’d be one of those Ming dynasty ones… valuable, but fragile… and perhaps only for display on special occasions. He was good, and I think all gooners are united in thinking he should be given a few more cameo appearances this season.
Finally, a word for the great Dane. I have been a constant defender of Nik B’s talent this season… and I’ve come in for a lot of flak because of it. I wrote some pretty strong comments about Nik in my last post… mostly about his fairy boots and his attitude. I suggested Carlos should play ahead of him.
Well, he did… and when Nik came one… minus the hair gel… he proved a point with a sublime take down of a 40 yard pass and a superb finish. That is why I rate him… most of his issues this year can be attributed to confidence… lets see where this goal can take him now. Hopefully he will prove a few of the, ‘he’s a championship player’ doubters wrong in the coming weeks.
So, overall… Kiev were a weak team… but they had an impressive away record and we contained them. I remember years gone by when the invincibles would have given their right pink boot for a ground out performance like that. How many times did we have face up to morning headlines of,
‘Arsenal get suckered after dominating <insert eastern european team>’.
That was a professional performance. A win is a win… lets take it and move onto the next game where I predict we will win again. Don’t ask me why I think that… but I had the same vibe before the ManU game!
Let your thoughts be known in the comments… oh, and remember… wearing pink is cool.
P.S. I had an e-mail from the President of the Le Grove appreciation society Canterbury Christ Church Student Union yesterday checking that Le Grove do not have ill feelings towards students… Liam, Le Grove and it’s authors (One an ex-student) do not have ill feelings towards any group, and definitely not students!
Every group is welcome… well, you know… almost every group!